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Obamacare Sign-Ups Hit 8 Million in Remarkable Turnaround

(HuffPo) In a remarkable rebound from the botched rollout of Obamacare, 8 million people signed up for private health insurance via the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act since October, President Barack Obama announced during a press briefing at the White House Thursday.

March and April saw an uptick in the share of young people signing up for private plans using the exchanges. These people, who are presumably healthier, are needed to balance out the medical costs of older, sicker consumers. About 35 percent of people who signed up throughout the open enrollment period were under 35 years old, including children, Obama said. Twenty-eight percent were between the ages of 18 and 34, according to a White House fact sheet.


Paul Krugman: We live in the most unequal society ever, and it’s only getting worse

(Raw Story) The Nobel Prize winner said this troubling trend began around 1980, when President Ronald Reagan was elected and began implementing supply-side economic policies that promised more wealth for everyone if tax burdens were lifted for the rich.

“The fact of the matter is, since inequality began soaring, around 1980, the bottom half of America has pretty much been left behind,” Krugman said. “There has not been a rising tide that raised all boats.”


Oklahoma Will Charge Customers Who Install Their Own Solar Panels

(Think Progress) Oklahoma residents who produce their own energy through solar panels or small wind turbines on their property will now be charged an additional fee, the result of a new bill passed by the state legislature and expected to be signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin (R).

On Monday, S.B. 1456 passed the state House 83-5 after no debate. The measure creates a new class of customers: those who install distributed power generation systems like solar panels or small wind turbines on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid. While those with systems already installed won’t be affected, the new class of customers will now be charged a monthly fee — a shift that happened quickly and caught many in the state off guard.


TRUMKA Wants Elizabeth Warren to Be President: "In short," he wrote, "it don't get no better."

In a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session, one user asked Trumka for his thoughts on Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

"I have met Elizabeth Warren on multiple occasions," Trumka responded. "In my opinion, she is the prototype of a person we would want to be president of the United States. She has a very well-defined set of values and unlike many politicians, she actually sticks by those values and fights to implement them."

"In short," he wrote, "it don't get no better."


The Harshest Abortion Ban In The Country Has Been Overturned

(Think Progress) A federal judge permanently struck down North Dakota’s six-week abortion ban on Wednesday. The so-called “fetal heartbeat” measure, which used to represent the harshest ban in the nation, had already been temporarily blocked from taking effect while the legal challenge against it proceeded. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ruled that the law is “invalid and unconstitutional” and “cannot withstand a constitutional challenge,” pointing out that Roe v. Wade guarantees the right to abortion up until the point of viability.


Oklahoma school district OKs ‘Bible curriculum’ created by Hobby Lobby president

(Raw story) According to the Religious News Service, the “Museum of the Bible Curriculum” created by Hobby Lobby’s President Steve Green will be beta-tested in Oklahoma’s Mustang Public School district beginning in the Fall of 2014.

Green hopes the program — which will be overseen by Jerry Pattengale, head of the Green Scholars Initiative — will be placed in “hundreds” of high schools by 2016, and “thousands” by 2017. It is a four-year elective course in which students will study the narrative, history, and impact of the Bible on Western Civilization. Because the book is being taught within an academic purview, it does not violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Abington School District v. Schempp.


First GOP Governor Calls On Boehner To Extend Unemployment Benefits

(TPM) Nevada's Brian Sandoval became the first Republican governor to publicly call on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to revive unemployment insurance for more than 2 million Americans.

In a letter dated April 11, Sandoval and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) endorsed the Senate-passed bill to extend long-term jobless benefits through the end of May, with retroactive compensation for those who lost it when the program expired on Dec. 28.


Governor Bans Minimum Wage Increases And Paid Sick Leave Laws (Oklahoma)

(Think Progress) At a time when many states and cities are working passing minimum wage increases, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has gone in the opposite direction and signed a law banning cities from passing higher wages. The bill also bans them from enacting paid sick days or vacation requirements.

The law will stymie the efforts of activists in Oklahoma City, where a labor federation has led the push on a petition to raise the city’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The state’s current minimum has been set at the federal level of $7.25. In 2012, 64,000 workers in the state earned $7.25 an hour or less, making up 7.2 percent of all hourly workers, a larger share than the 4.7 percent figure for the country as a whole.

Omaha Steve

CBO Estimates U.S. Deficit Will Shrink More Than Expected in 2014--Update

(WSJ) The U.S. government's gap between spending and revenue will be narrower both this year and later in the decade compared with prior estimates, driven in part by reductions in near-term military spending and falling longer-run costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office said.

The CBO, a nonpartisan agency that advises Congress on budget policy, on Monday said the adjustments will lower its forecast for the 2014 deficit to $492 billion, or $23 billion less than it estimated two months ago. That's equivalent to 2.8% of gross domestic product, marking the smallest deficit since 2007. Since 1980, the deficit has averaged roughly 3.2% of GDP.


CBO Lowers Obamacare's Price Tag By $104 Billion Over 10 Years

(TPM) In its latest projections for Obamacare, the Congressional Budget Office has lowered the law's costs over the next 10 years by more than $100 billion.

Most of the change can be linked to lower spending on tax subsidies for coverage purchased on HealthCare.gov and its state counterparts, which can in turn be linked to lower-than-expected premiums.

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Latest Breaking News

US freeing Iran funds as Tehran cuts uranium stockpile

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Guantánamo judge to CIA: Disclose ‘black site’ details to USS Cole defense lawyers

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Nine dead in Everest avalanche

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East Ukraine militants snub Geneva deal on crisis

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TN Says Yes To Free Higher-Education Tuition (free tuition for incoming freshmen)

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Teacher accused of racial slur fired by Fairfield [OH] board

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Christian broadcaster wins health care injunction

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Fraternity shuts Ole Miss branch after noose tying

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Jennifer Gratz challenges Detroit high schooler to affirmative action debate

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Oregon ruling spurs halt on immigration detainers

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Texas seizes polygamist group’s secluded ranch

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Ukrainian oligarch offers bounty for capture of Russian 'saboteurs'

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Hotel Magnate Pleads Guilty to Campaign Finance Fraud

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Obama: No US military involvement in Ukraine

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Obama Blasts GOP Govs Turning Down Medicaid Expansion: 'That's Wrong'

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UPDATED: Harry Reid Calls Bundy Supporters 'Domestic Terrorists'

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News UK news London London police seize large haul of firearms

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Judge: Ex-gov can't keep filings from prosecutors

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South Sudan conflict: Attack on UN base 'kills dozens'

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José 'Cheo' Feliciano Dies In A Car Accident

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Chelsea Clinton announces she’s pregnant

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McDonald's foreign workers call it 'slavery'

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Scientists find Earth-sized world in orbit friendly to life (Kepler-186f)

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BREAKING: Obamacare Sign-Ups Hit 8 Million in Remarkable Turnaround

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Prop 8 lawyer’s views on gay marriage evolving

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UPDATE 2-U.S. judge declines to order 'park it now' notices for GM cars

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BART cited, fined $210,000 for worker deaths

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